Marques from across the Dick Lovett stable took part in the world’s most gruelling motorsport endurance race at the weekend, the world-renowned Le Mans 24 Hours - a race which Dick Lovett chairman Peter Lovett himself competed in six times during the 1970s and 80s.
Peter Lovett took the wheel of such legendary race cars as the Porsche 911 Carrera RSR, Lola T380, Porsche 935 K3, Mazda RX-7 and Mazda 717c at Le Mans. This year, it was the iconic Porsche 911 RSRs which dominated the 2018 event.
Above: Images of Peter Lovett competing in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans
It was fitting that in the year Porsche is celebrating its 70 years of sporting history, it secured a double win at the 86th Le Mans 24 Hours, taking firsts in both the hotly contested GTE classes. Even more fittingly, its first and second placed cars were decked out in heritage livery - the distinctive Pink Pig colour scheme from 1971 and the classic Rothmans from the mid 1980s.
Ferrari took second and third in the GTE-Am class, Aston Martin managed a top ten place in the GTE-Pro with the new Aston Martin Vantage while BMW’s long-awaited return resulted in a 12th place in the same class.
But it was the Porsche 911 RSRs which dominated on the day. In the GTE-Pro class, starting number 92, the Pink Pig, driven by Kévin Estre (France), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) won with 344 laps. Second place went to the number 91 Rothmans sister car driven by Richard Lietz (Austria), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Gianmaria Bruni (Italy), just a lap behind.
In the GTE-Am class, the Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell (Australia), Christian Ried (Germany) and Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) took the flag in first place for the Porsche customer team Dempsey-Proton Racing, making 18-year-old Andlauer the youngest class winner in Le Mans history.
Unfortunately, punctures, a damaged front splitter and a shock absorber problem meant the GTE-Pro class didn’t go Ferrari’s way and the first Ferrari 488 GTE came across the finishing line in sixth place.
There was more success in the GTE-Am with two podium places with Ferrari 488s crossing the line in second and third places. But it’s still early days for the revamped Ferrari 488 GTEs, which were only rolled out for the first time at the company’s test tack in Fiorano in April.
It was the Le Mans debut for Aston Martin’s new Vantage GTE with its 4.0 litre twin turbocharged V8 and the team was pleased to secure a double-points finish with a 9th place in the GTE-Pro and an 11th place in the GTE-Am.
Both cars raced through the night without barely a hitch - although the car driven by Danish duo Nicki Thiim, Marco Sørensen, and three-time Le Mans winner Darren Turner had to be rebuilt from a new frame and roll cage after a testing crash.
BMW’s long-awaited return with two BMW M8 GTE cars didn’t quite go to plan, despite being in the top three for many stages of the race. One car was forced to retire after an accident and the other had to have a radiator change after being damaged by debris on the track. However, it still finished in a credible 12th position in the GTE-Pro class.
It was the first time BMW had raced at Le Mans since 2011 and it used the occasion to launch a new BMW 8 Series range. The new BMW M850i xDrive Coupe features much of the technology of the M8 GTE race car, including a new V8 engine, adaptive M suspension and intelligent four-wheel drive.
And while Dick Lovett might not be able to provide you with a podium finish, we can give you a taste of the sporting dream by offering you a test drive at our Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin and BMW centres across the South West of England and Wales.
Contact one of our dealerships at let us put you in the car of your dreams.